Homer, Alaska: Kayaking Kachemak Bay
Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Summary: Part of the Cook Inlet, Kachemak Bay is a 40-mile long Bay that includes the town of Homer and the 400,000 acre Kachemak State Park. Here, we enjoyed a 1/2 day kayaking tour with St. Augustine's Kayaking Tours. This semi-private tour includes water taxi across the Bay, kayaks, a tour-guide, and light snacks. Kachemak Bay is gorgeous and kayaking on the Bay is a great way to enjoy the area's wildlife at a leisurely pace.
What Gear To Bring. When traveling in June to Alaska, like we did, the weather can change quickly. Bring layers including rain jackets and/or ponchos, gloves, and knit caps. We also packed a change of clothes in the unlikely event we were to tip out of the kayak and into the chilly Bay water. We did not end up needing the extra clothes but Murphy's Law dictated bringing it, otherwise we would have been dumped in the water!
About Kachemak Bay. Part of the Cook Inlet, this 40-mile long Bay is the home of Kachemak State Park, Alaska's only wilderness state park. Access to the State Park is by water taxi or air only as there are no roads in and out of the park. Kachemak State Park itself is comprised of 400,000 acres of mountains, rivers, lakes, glaciers and wildlife.
Cost. We used St. Augustine's Kayak & Tours and selected the morning 1/2 day trip at $117 per person. Fees include a private charted boat across the Kachemak Bay from Homer to Kachemak Bay State Park (both directions), light snacks, and a tour-guide for our 6-person group (our family of four + one other unrelated couple).
Homer Spit & Water Taxi. Check-in was at 8:30 a.m. at the Homer Spit Marina. Here, we were divided in two groups before boarding our own private water taxi. Before we headed across Kachemak Bay, though, we were treated with a brief tour of some neighboring tiny islands that are the home of various marine birds.
Beach Landing and Set up. The water taxi lands directly on the beach at Kachemak State Park. From here, we were given the gear necessary for ocean kayaking, along with a quick lesson on how to use the ocean kayaks. Tip: Water a tree (or use a bush or whatever you want to call it), before you enter the kayak because it will be a few hours before you are given an opportunity again. This was especially important for our morning kayaking trip after all the coffee we had (ack!).
Kayaking. With luck, the forecasted rain held off for our morning kayaking trip. Overcast but not too cold, our light weight rain jackets kept us warm as we paddled around the shoreline of the Bay. The kayaking itself was at a leisurely pace with our tour-guide giving us a ton of information about Kachemak Bay. We tooled around the shoreline looking for star fish, bald eagles, otters, and other wildlife. At one point a group of super cute seals with babies in tow joined us. In the end, we spent too much time having fun kayaking to stop for photos but here are a few snap shots of the beautiful bay.
About Homer. Homer is known as the "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." A frequent tourist activity is chartering a boat out of Kachemak Bay to catch, haul in, and ship home, these large fish. We, however, did not go out fishing. Instead, our time here was spent hiking Kachemak Bay State Park and Kayaking on the Bay. In other words, there's plenty to do here even if you do not like to fish. The town itself has a population just under 6,000, which by Alaska standards, seemed on the largest side of the many small towns in this State. The larger population and influx of tourists in the summer means there are a surprisingly large amount of restaurants for such a small town. That being said, wait times were long and reservations where possible are a highly recommended (or in some cases, required).
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